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MAY 7, 2021

Foreign Affairs Ministry reports on the normalization of bilateral relations between Chile and Bolivia

Both countries agreed to hold the Policy Consultation Mechanism Meeting XXIII – the last of which took place in 2010 – and the Committee of Borders and Integration Meeting XV and reestablish the Working Groups and Technical Sessions to address matters of common interest.

On Friday, April 30, delegations from the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Republic of Chile met in La Paz to normalize bilateral relations.

 The Chilean delegation was made up of South American Director and Ambassador to the Philippines José Miguel Capdevila; Borders Director, Carlos Dettleff; Head of the South American Division of the International Economic Relations Undersecretariat, Karina Cánepa; and the Consul General of Chile in La Paz and Ambassador to Bolivia, Roberto Ubilla.

Both countries agreed to hold the Policy Consultation Mechanism Meeting XXIII – the last of which took place in 2010 – and the Committee of Borders and Integration Meeting XV and reestablish the Working Groups and Technical Sessions to address matters of common interest.

Accordingly, the delegations agreed to work on a roadmap for 2021, which will be developed in the abovementioned meetings and will address the following matters: Committee of Borders and Integration; Economic Complementation; Free Crossing; Boundaries; Physical Integration; Cultures; Environment; Tourism; Education; Science; Technology and Innovation; Cooperation; Consular Issues; Police Cooperation; Smuggling; Control of Illegal Trade and Drugs; and Cross-Border Water Resources.

The minutes from the working meetings noted that the delegations confirmed that a significant understanding was reached and that they were in agreement on the above, notwithstanding the position of both countries with respect to the already settled lawsuit regarding the obligation to negotiate access to the Pacific Ocean and the ongoing lawsuit in the International Court of Justice concerning the status and use of the water in the Silala river.

The Bolivian delegation made its point of view known with respect to these issues and the Chilean delegation reiterated to its counterpart that Bolivian maritime aspirations were definitively resolved under the 1904 Peace and Friendship Treaty, which remains fully in force, and the 2018 ruling of the International Court of Justice, which determined that Chile had no obligation to negotiate sovereign access to the sea with Bolivia.

The delegations agreed that constructive dialogue is the most appropriate instrument for understanding and integration, that bilateral cooperation can effectively help to create bonds of friendship and fraternal coexistence, that intercultural dialogue can contribute to the necessary understanding between their peoples and that trade and investment can be tools to achieve the economic and social progress of both nations.